|Romeo & Juliet | July 24 – August 24|
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Dawn McAndrews
In a world consumed by self-interest and divided by hatred and mistrust, Shakespeare’s impetuous young lovers defy family, friends, and society to be together. With no one to turn to but each other, Romeo and Juliet provoke both fate and fickle fortune in their quest for pure and passionate love.
Asst. Stage Manager
*Member of Actor’s Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers in the United States.
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From the Director
Romeo and Juliet is simply one of the most popular plays of the English language. It has been performed countless times, in countless languages since its initial run in the late 1590s. Many productions look for ways to heighten the “differences” between the two households, hoping to impose some deeper meaning on the feud, but I think this is a mistake. This is not a play about differences but a play about similarities (the prologue tells us that in the first line). The feuding families hold the same social status and share the same values. They clash over a position which is dead-even—no one can win.
We’ve chosen to locate our production in Italy, in period, creating a world where violence, aristocracy, arranged marriages, and chaste love are all imaginable. Our focus is on the central images of the play—the tension between day and night, light and dark. While we know that the daylight world is more powerful than young love of night, we are still drawn into the power of possibility. Nothing in this world makes any sense except the terrible loss—until the one shining moment of potential peace born out of love.
From my earliest encounter with the play, I’ve felt that it should have been titled “The Impetuous Tragedy of Romeo & Juliet.” If the Friar had refused to wed Romeo to the girl he’d just met; if Juliet hadn’t proposed marriage to get a kiss; if Capulet hadn’t rushed into marrying Juliet to Paris to stop her crying. If in any one of these situations (and many others) someone had just stopped and thought about the CONSEQUENCES of their actions the play could end as a comedy. If only Romeo had slowed down long enough to check in with the Friar, he’d have turned up ten minutes late and Juliet would be awake. And screaming. Perhaps Shakespeare is warning us to speak up and accept responsibility for our actions—before it’s too late. And for the “two hours traffic” on our stage, I hope you can believe that love, this one time, might win.